UNITED STATES NEWS

Lizzo says she’s ‘not the villain’ after her former dancers claim sex harassment

Aug 3, 2023, 6:34 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lizzo said Thursday that she’s “not the villain” that three of her former backup dancers falsely accuse her of being in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

The civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court claims Lizzo pressured the dancers to engage with nude performers at a club in Amsterdam and shamed one of them for her weight gain before firing her.

“I am not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days,” Lizzo said in a statement posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not.”

Plaintiffs Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez make numerous charges including sexual, religious and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault and false imprisonment. They accuse the Grammy winner and her production company of creating a hostile work environment.

The legal complaint seeks unspecified damages from Melissa Viviane Jefferson, known professionally as Lizzo, her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., and Shirlene Quigley, captain of the performer’s dance team.

“These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized,” Lizzo said in the statement. “Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”

She said the “sensationalized stories” were coming from former employees “who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.”

The court filing claims that after performing a concert in Amsterdam, Lizzo and her crew attended a sexually themed show at a club in the city’s notorious Red Light District where “Lizzo began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers” and led a chant pressuring Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women performing at the club.

“Finally, the chorus became overwhelming, and a mortified Ms. Davis acquiesced in an attempt to bring an end to the chants,” the complaint states. “Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, especially in the presence of many people whom she employed.”

Lizzo, who routinely champions body positivity, is also accused of calling out Davis for her weight gain after accusing the dancer of not being committed to her role. Davis was fired in May for recording a meeting during which Lizzo had given out notes to dancers about their performances, according to the complaint.

“Sometimes I have to make hard decisions but it’s never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or like they aren’t valued as an important part of the team,” Lizzo said. “I’m hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this.”

Quigley, who served as a judge on the singer’s reality show “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” is accused in the lawsuit of pushing her Christian beliefs onto dancers. The court filing claims Quigley referred to Davis as a “non-believer” and told co-workers that “No job and no one will stop me from talking about the Lord.”

Earlier this year, Lizzo won the Grammy for record of the year for her hit single “About Damn Time.” A global tour supporting her fourth studio album, 2022’s “Special,” wrapped up last month.

United States News

...

KSL Podcasts/Ben Kuebrich

FBI investigates family friend ‘Uncle Hilty’ in kidnapping case

The FBI turns its focus on family friend 'Uncle Hilty' in a high-stakes kidnapping case after uncovering inconsistencies and crucial evidence.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

The Latest | Defense lawyer begins delivering closing arguments in Trump’s hush money case

NEW YORK (AP) — Closing arguments in Donald Trump ‘s historic hush money trial began Tuesday morning in a Manhattan courtroom, giving prosecutors and defense attorneys one final opportunity to convince the jury of their respective cases before deliberations begin. Jurors will undertake the unprecedented task of deciding whether to convict the former U.S. president […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

In Trump’s hush money trial, prosecutors and defense lawyers are poised to make final pitch to jury

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors and defense lawyers in Donald Trump’s hush money trial are set to deliver closing arguments to the jury Tuesday, each side looking to score final points with the panel before it starts deliberating the fate of the first former American president to be charged with felony crimes. The arguments, expected […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Nobody hurt after plane’s engine catches fire at Chicago O’Hare airport

CHICAGO (AP) — A commercial airliner’s engine caught fire Monday at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said. United flight 2091 to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport aborted takeoff after flames were reported around 2 p.m. while the aircraft was still on the taxiway, the FAA said. The airline said the plane, an Airbus A320, […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

81-year-old arrested after police say he terrorized a California neighborhood with a slingshot

AZUSA, Calif. (AP) — An 81-year-old man who investigators say terrorized a Southern California neighborhood for years with a slingshot has been arrested, police said. While conducting an investigation, detectives “learned that during the course of 9-10 years, dozens of citizens were being victimized by a serial slingshot shooter,” the Azusa Police Department said in […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

Man convicted of Chicago murder based on blind witness’ testimony sues city, police

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man convicted of murder based in part on testimony from a legally blind eyewitness is suing the city and the police department. A judge convicted Darien Harris in 2014 in connection with a fatal shooting at a South Side gas station in 2011. He was 12 years into a 76-year […]

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Lizzo says she’s ‘not the villain’ after her former dancers claim sex harassment